Denise Alexander, Deputy General Manager, Female Custody - Clarence Correctional Centre
Denise joined Serco in 2006 as Operations Manager at Acacia Prison in Western Australia. Her career has flourished through a series of promotions and development opportunities. In 2019, Denise was appointed Deputy General Manager, Female Custody for the new Clarence Correctional Centre in northern NSW and is one of the Graduate Placement Managers in our 2021-22 Graduate Program.
Why do you choose to work at Serco?
I want to learn, add value and make a difference - Serco has helped me do that, giving me the opportunities to stretch and grow. I’ve been entrusted with the freedom to make decisions and do what I think needs to be done and I’ve been given recognition that’s personal and meaningful. Serco’s size and diversity and geographic footprint makes it possible to have a long and fulfilling career (and in different locations if you prefer) with the one employer. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the last fourteen years.
In what ways do you consider your work to be meaningful? What motivates you?
Senior leaders are a source of inspiration on the purpose of leadership, to make a difference in the lives of others you lead. I’m drawn to do the right thing for others, and to encourage both those I work alongside and lead and those we care for in our work to strive, to see what’s possible for themselves. As a leader myself, I make sure my teams understand and want to be part of that bigger purpose too.
Have the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted anything for you?
Through this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, with much of Serco’s business being on the frontline, we’ve had to adapt quickly. Serco as a company was very swift to respond, working in partnership with our government customers to meet their requirements and as a priority, keep our people as well as those in our care, safe. Serco leaders everywhere have been visible and present, have communicated openly and frequently, have put in extra measures to support wellbeing, and are looking for ways we can sustain many of the enhanced practices and processes we’ve introduced initially in response to COVID-19, into business as usual. These past months have reinforced that our people matter to us more than anything.
Why would you commend Serco to graduates?
My advice is this: if you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. Aspire to be better and never knock an opportunity back, because you never know where it will lead. My line managers have been extremely supportive of my personal and professional growth, to try new things in each of the various roles I’ve had. Now with such diverse experience I’m best placed to be successful in my current role. I love to learn and interact with others. Bouncing ideas, talking, sharing and thinking about the bigger picture and getting different points of view – I love that. I try to empower my team members so they can grow through the experience of their work every day and shape their role so they can enjoy what they do as much as I do. Serco’s culture encourages inclusion, that everyone’s views count. You have the chance to be your best self here and really develop your potential.